'Clipped Wings': Tianna Bartoletta Sounds Off On 4x100m Relay Exclusion

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Tianna Bartoletta 2017 World Championships

After speaking out about her emotionally turbulent road to the 2017 IAAF World Championships, Tianna Bartoletta doesn't seem to be holding anything back lately. Today, she penned a heartfelt response to her exclusion from the world championship 4x100m relay team, titled "Clipped Wings," on her website, Team TB.

Last week's world-title-winning lineup for Team USA included perennial relay staples Allyson Felix, Morolake Akinosun, and Tori Bowie, but notably did not include Bartoletta in the starting spot. Instead, the U.S. selected Texas A&M sprinter Aaliyah Brown as the lead-off leg. Brown was not entered in any other events, while Bartoletta ended up taking bronze in a hard-fought long jump final.

Bartoletta's blog starts with a declaration of self-confidence:

"'Who is Team USA's best leadoff leg in recent history?'

Answer: I am.

I'm not trying to be cocky or arrogant it's not actually my style. But like Liam Neeson a la 'Taken' I do possess a particular set of skills…

Those skills include my ability to use geometry, physics, adrenaline, and pure savagery to destroy the stagger within 50 meters, sometimes sooner."


She continues by recounting her experiences racing with previous world U.S. 4x100m relay teams. In 2012 and 2016, Bartoletta ran the lead-off leg on both Olympic gold medal-winning squads. She elaborates on the relay selection process, helmed by the recently instated head relay coach Orin Richburg, shortly after:

"I had no way of knowing that that would probably be the last time I represented Team USA at a global championship.

I had no way of knowing that those accomplishments would mean nothing to the new relay coach.

No way to foresee that [Orin] Richburg would tell me on the phone the night before my flight to not even show up to Birmingham relay camp-- essentially robbing me of a chance to even race off for the position.

No way to know after missing a week of long jump training to go to relay camp in Monaco that that would mean absolutely nothing in the big picture.

No way to know that Richburg would tell me in the lobby once we arrived in London that I still may run.

And they had no way to know that given everything that I was going through in my personal life that the last thing I needed was to be jerked around by older men making me feel disposable, and worthless, or that my previous accomplishments, and successful execution in that role didn't matter in the slightest."

At 31 years old, and with the next IAAF world championship two years away, Bartoletta could be right that this "would probably be the last time [she] represented Team USA at a global championship" on the 4x100m relay.

You can read Bartoletta's full blog here.

Brian Herron Plans To Skip HS Outdoor Season And Run Unattached

USATSI_10553179_168383134_lowres.jpg

Brian Herron is quickly becoming one of the nation's top sprint talents, but he may soon join a very rare list of athletes with great potential who never won a state championship. 

Christian Coleman, Natoya Goule Highlight Professional Weekend

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Coleman

Last Friday, Christian Coleman jump-started the professional indoor season with his 6.37 performance in the 60m. While there’s still uncertainty about whether or not the time will be ratified as an American and world record — there are different requirements for each — it signals that Coleman’s 2017 wasn’t an aberration. 

Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen To Race Napoli Half Marathon

unnamed.jpg

Sondre Nordstad Moen will begin his 2018 racing season in the Napoli City Half Marathon (February 4th) after a sensational final few months in 2017.  In September he began with a personal best 27:55 for 10K in the Birell Prague Grand Prix and concluded with a December victory in the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon in a European Record 2:05:48.  In the interim he improved to number three on the European half marathon list with 59:48, in Valencia.

Matthew Centrowitz Moving To D.C., Still With Nike Oregon Project

CentroOlympics.jpg

Matthew Centrowitz announced on Instagram that he is still with the Nike Oregon Project, but has relocated back to the Washington, D.C. area. The 2016 Olympic champion in the 1500m attended Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Oregon and remained in Oregon for his professional career. 

All The Best Things That Happened In The NCAA This Weekend

Cheryl Treworgy Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 9.17.42 AM.png

Three collegiate records highlighted NCAA action this weekend, as UTEP sophomore Michael Saruni, Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp, and Georgia senior Keturah Orji set standards in their respective events.

Keturah Orji Breaks American, Collegiate Indoor Record For Triple Jump

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 2.05.26 PM.png

Georgia's Keturah Orji broke her own American and NCAA indoor records in the triple jump on Saturday with a leap of 14.53m/47-8 at the Clemson Invitational.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K

a.jpg

North Rockland High School, New York, sophomore Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest 5K ever for a high school girl — indoors or outdoors — today with her winning time of 15:37.12 at the VA Showcase in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener

DT8ZhghXkAY1zsK-1.jpg

Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

Kirby Lee VincentCrisp.jpg

Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 8.12.01 AM.png

On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.